What is GM crops/ food?
According to „World Health Organisation‟
“Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic
material (DNA) has been modified in a way at does not occur naturally, i.e. through
the introduction of a gene from a different organism.
GM Crops are described by many different names –
•Genetically Engineered crops(GE)
•Transgenic or Biotech crops
•Genetically Modified Organism(GMO)
BT Gene inserted into
DNA of the crop
Insect Resistance (IR)
Insect pests have become an integral part of agricultural crops worldwide and
significantly reduce yield of the plants. So IR trait is inserted into crops.
IR trait is helpful in following ways
•Reduction in Insecticide spraying
•Targeting of the insecticide solely to the plant to be protected .
European Corn Borer
Toxin is Present
European Corn Borer
Over 63% of Gm crops grown globally have herbicide tolerance traits.
Herbicide tolerance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from a bacterium
conveying resistance to some herbicides. In situations where weed pressure is high, the
use of such crops has resulted in a reduction in the quantity of the herbicides used.
Virus resistance makes plants less susceptible to diseases caused by such viruses,
resulting in higher crop yields.
For Example- Hawaiian Papaya- Hawaiian papaya is made resistant to the
devastating effects of Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV).
Papaya Ring Spot Virus
Disadvantages of GM crops
In India, hundreds of laborers picking cotton and working in cotton ginning factories
developed allergic reactions when handling the BT cotton. This didn‟t happen with the
non-Bt varieties. [Ashish Gupta et. al., “Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers‟ Health (in
Barwani and Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh),” Investigation Report, Oct–Dec 2005]
Hospital records: “ Show that victims of itching have increased massively this year,
and all of them are related to BT cotton farming.” [The Sunday Indian, 10/26/08]
Itching all over the body, eruptions, wounds, discoloration
The movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in
the wild (referred to as “out crossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from
conventional seeds with those grown using GM crops, may have an indirect effect on
food safety and food security.
Direction of wind
GM Crops Conventional crops
Super Weeds :A wild plant that has been accidentally pollinated by a genetically-modified
plant and now contains that plant's abilities to resist herbicides and insects.
Glyphosate is the chemical name for an herbicide. Certain invasive grasses and weeds have
proven themselves to be resistant to glyphosate, meaning that the herbicide is no longer
effective against these plants.
Examples of weeds resistant to Glyphosate
Cross Pollination of
GM crop With Weeds
GM Crop Super Weed
No Effect of
Definition: According to United State Department of Agriculture (USDA)
„Food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food
for an active, healthy life. Food security includes at a minimum :
(1) the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods.
(2) an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (that is,
without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping
Availability of sufficient Quantity of Food.
Quality should be appropriate.
Having sufficient resources to:-
• Obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
• In case of :
• Utilization of food through Proper :
Clean Water Hand Wash
Why we need food security?
To cope with situations like:
No market to sell the Goods
Food Crisis in the World
during period 1986-2005
• Africa has > 15 years of food crisis and worst in the world where the
average number of crises has tripled over the last two decades.
Food Emergencies in Years
Genetically Modified Crops requires less
water for their growth , hence are capable to
sustain in drought conditions.
Useful in areas which receive less rainfall.
White rice is a staple food in most countries.
It provides 80% daily calories.
White rice doesn‟t contain beta-carotene which human body converts it to
WHO says 5 Lakh people get blind due to vitamin A deficiency every year .
To tackle this beta-carotene is added to white rice to make “Golden Rice”.
Adding Nutritive Value
Gene added from:-
1. Maize or Daffodil Plant
2. Common soil bacteria (Erwinia)
Yellow-Orange rice grain
Golden Rice is rich in Vitamin A
Food shell life Increase
• Spoiling of vegetable decreases.
• The first genetically modified crop
approved for sale in the U.S. was
the Falvrsvr tomato.
GMO‟s present both positive and negative aspects to society as a whole.
They are a topic of much deliberation and tension; very prevalent in some parts of
the world and banned in others.
GE crops are required for meeting Food Security in today‟s growing population.
Ultimately, GMO‟s are still a relatively premature technology and in the
developmental process. Only time will reveal their ultimate effect on humans.
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